Columnists > The UK must become as good at industrialising its science as the United States has been

30 March 2017 | by Peter Hennessy

The UK must become as good at industrialising its science as the United States has been


I am writing this column on the most poignant day I have ever spent in Parliament either as a journalist or as a member of the House of Lords – one day after the attack on the Palace of Westminster, the carnage on Westminster Bridge and the murder of PC Keith Palmer just inside New Palace Yard.

Like hundreds of others who work here, I was locked in the palace for several hours following the atrocity. This morning, in the Lords’ chamber, the Bishop of Leeds led prayers in a packed House. The Leader of the Lords, Lady Evans, briefly succumbed to tears as she delivered her tribute to the dead, the injured and to those who protect Parliament.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, speaking without a note, highlighted the “generosity and extraordinary sense of duty” of the police in New Palace Yard who tended to the wounds of the attacker who, moments before, was seeking to kill them. It was, he said, “a victory for what is right and good”. Lady Evans repeated the words of Theresa May in the Commons, the finest speech of her premiership so far. It is in a “million of acts of normality that we find the best response to terrorism”, she said.

The House of Lords followed the Prime Minister’s advice precisely and proceeded with its long-planned business of the day, debating a report on the consequences of Brexit for UK science and technology, produced by its Science and Technology Select Committee, of which I am a member.


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